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St Mary’s school extends its reach

Published Friday, 08 October 2010

A new extension to St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Durants Road, Ponders End is the first in a series of school expansions to be completed to help accommodate Enfield’s growing population.

Another nine primary school expansions funded by Enfield Council are under construction or at the design or consultation stage of development.

The work at St Mary's took just over a year and this means that the school can now take an additional 15 children a year bringing its numbers up to 420 over a seven year period.

Bishop George Stack of the Westminster Diocese will bless the new school extension at a special mass at St Mary's Catholic Church, and later tour the new extension with pupils and governors.

The building work includes the construction of a new two storey link teaching block on the existing school playground. It contains five new classrooms, a communications/IT suite, food technology room, group rooms, special needs facilities, toilets and storage space.

There has also been a reorganisation of the existing school building to provide staff and support spaces as well as expansion of the school meals kitchen to cater for the increased numbers of children.

External works include a roof garden learning space and landscaping; while energy savings measures incorporated into the new building include solar panels and ventilation system.

Headteacher, Maeve Creed, said, "Staff, governors and parents were fully consulted on the design and management of the building works and are very pleased with the additional facilities that have been provided.

"We recognise the need to provide the extra places and we know that we are entering a new and exciting future for generations of pupils attending the school.

"It has been a marvellous team effort and everyone has worked really hard to ensure the school has maintained high standards while building work has been taking place. Pupils have been involved in the process designing the new pupil toilets and the roof garden layout for planting.

"We now have some wonderful modern facilities which will benefit all the children."

Cllr Ayfer Orhan, cabinet member for education and children's services added, "This expansion is the start of a number of school building extensions in the borough where we need more school places. We appreciate the cooperation of the schools involved. These extensions not only provide more classrooms, but also provide vastly improved facilities for learning.

"The work at St Mary's is part of our strategy to provide additional school places to meet the growing demand for primary school places where they are most needed."

Neil Rousell, co-director for education, children's services and leisure, said, "This is an important scheme where we are working with schools and parents to arrive at workable solutions that help children to learn in bright, well equipped schools."

The total cost of the whole scheme comes to £2.8 million with the majority of funding coming from Enfield Council.

There was also a small contribution from Partnership for Schools (£50k) towards the cost of works to the school meals kitchen.

The main contractor was Borras Construction Ltd.

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